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Re: Ammonia vs. Nitrates
> This inspires a question or two. Would it be wise to reduce the amount
> of biological filtration in my 125 gallon tank (lava rock, ceramic
> rings) to free up more ammonia for my plants?
I don't know how you could reduce biological filtration long-term, nor why
you would want to do it. Nitrifying bacteria will grow everywhere in the
tank, and will reach quantities capable of handling whatever ammonia load is
present. Removing lava rock, ceramic rings, etc., would cause a temporary
ammonia spike, but in less than a week bacteria would catch up by growing on
other available surfaces. In other words, your plan is not a long-term
solution. Are there fish in the tank? Deliberately triggering an ammonia
spike would be very stressful to them. Some fish (SAE's for example) simply
cannot tolerate ammonia spikes at all.
> My nitrate stays at around
> 20ppm regardless of plant growth, CO2 saturation, etc.
REGARDLESS of plant growth?? What nitrate test kit are you using? Some test
strips (Jungle, for example) will never read much below 20 ppm. If you test
with a liquid test kit (Seachem, Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Lamotte), you may
discover that your nitrates are actually at zero.
> Also I have one HOT w/2 BWs (eliminate BWs?).
If you want to preserve your CO2 and not dissipate it into the air, ditch the
> When I had excess CO2 some fish would gasp at the BW area before they died.
At what CO2 level did this occur?
> Also, once a fish suffers from CO2
> poisoning(?) can it be saved? I reduced CO2 and still lost a few fish.
> Only a few. The majority were not fazed by it.
Depends on where you catch the fish in its death spiral. If it's just
beginning to show stress, you can oxygenate the water and save it. If you
wait until it's gasping its last, your chances of reviving the fish dwindle
rapidly. Frankly, you would have to add a heck of a lot of CO2 to kill fish
with a biowheel on the tank. Again, do you know at what levels your CO2 was
running when these fish deaths occurred?